Family & Friends
Those close to you can influence your breastfeeding experience. It is therefore good to involve them in the decision about how you feed your baby and that they know as much about breastfeeding as you.
Partners aren’t always sure what they can do to help and support you and see feeding the baby as the only way they can help. Their role is much bigger than this. If they value and support your decision to breastfeed they will encourage you even when it can feel tough at times.
In the early days preparing yourself to feed the baby may take a little time and practice; this is when your partner’s support is invaluable. Fetching a cushion and helping you and your baby get comfortable can be really helpful as can getting you a cold drink and a healthy snack whilst feeding.
Other ways for partners to get involved are bathing their babies, changing and settling their babies. Often Dads have a calming effect on their babies and become experts at settling them.
For more top tips for partners see http://www.realbabymilk.org/dads
Having your family’s support for breastfeeding means you are likely to breastfeed for longer and this will lead to short and long term health benefits for you and your baby. Tell them about some of the benefits for you and your baby, show them this website and the supporting literature available and don’t forget to let them know that breastfeeding will save you approximately £500 in the first year.
Often grandparents and other relatives feel feeding the baby is the only help they can provide. If your family ask what they can do, let them know what a tremendous help it would be if they prepared a meal or did some of the washing that soon builds up from one so small!
Tell your friends about your thinking behind the decision to breastfeed and you’ll soon have their support – who knows they might give it a try when they see how much you and your baby benefit. Reassure them you can still go for a night out with them in the future because you can express breast milk and store it. However in the early days they can provide some support by visiting you at home and making you a cold drink and something to eat.